Rotten Tomatoes appeals to the unrepentant math geek in me, bringing forth my absolute love of numbers and aggregates. My inner masochist also gets a good workout perusing the bottom of the barrel: The 0%.
This past box-office weekend brought us Movie 43, a film that flirts oh so playfully with the worst of the worst. Comments ranging from “”Movie 43″ is the “Citizen Kane” of awful.” (Roeper) to “Just no.” (Kim Newman, Empire) with a dash of “Movie 43 is a near masterpiece of tastelessness. The anthology of twelve short, interconnected skits elevates the art form of gross-out comedy to a new height.” (Michael O Sullivan, Washington Post) And that is one of two reviews that keep this from reaching that lofty goal of “Worst Movie Ever”
So according to Rotten Tomatoes, what exactly IS the worst movie ever? Well, here are the Top 5 worst reviewed/average scored movies. And I’ve already seen 4 out of 5, so I need to rethink my own viewing habits.
(From Bad to Worst)
#5 Orgy of the Dead
Another Ed Wood “masterpiece”. It’s not so much a movie as it was a bizarre assortment of undead-themed strip teases performed for a couple who survived a car crash only to be tied up at a cemetary to watch the undead Burlesque festivities. I wish I could tell you something more substantive, but that’s really all the movie amounted to.
However, it does feature Criswelll; also the Wolf Man and the Mummy make an appearance, so I suppose it’s not a TOTAL loss if you were hoping for an actual horror movie. It does also include a strange ripoff of Goldfinger’s gold girl. Who knows, these movies tend to get made.
How can a post-apocalyptic action flick with Barry Bostwick and Michael Beck NOT work? In a word: Headbands. I don’t think you can be taken seriously as a futuristic superhero named Ace Hunter if you’re wearing a sparkly white headband. You can have all the badass dune buggies with lasers, flying motorcyles and Henry Silva, but that does not mean you get to adapt your movie into a terrible Atari 2600 game.
I can remember seeing this when I was 8 and thinking it was just so amazing, because everything looked so futuristic and awesome. It was 1984 and I had very little to go on, and there was a Hot Wheels set that went along with the movie so my mind was very laser focused back then.
#3 Police Academy 6: City Under Siege
Yes, this movie is absolutely awful. However, I don’t feel like it really belongs as the 3rd worst movie of all time in terms of reviews. Besides, my mom met Bubba Smith once and I have a rule against besmirching people she may have worked with in the past.
Yeah, whatever, that movie was ridiculous. Police Academy stopped being relevant not long after the credits of Police Academy rolled.
#2 The Abduction of Zach Butterfield
I’ve never even heard about this movie, only that it was released by Leammle Theaters in 2011. Upon reading the description, and checking out the site (which states as of 1/23/2013 they are still editing) which had a ‘trailer’, I couldn’t help but think I need to find a copy of this movie and watch it…stat!
These types of films will always have a special place in my heart, the kind you can only see at 3am some idle Tuesday while you’re flipping through the channels or surfing the Web looking for something crazy. The production values look awful, the acting is as wooden as the premise, and you have no idea why you are watching. However, you find that you just cannot look away. I may have to now see this.
#1 Manos : The Hands of Fate
Like most film geeks my introduction to this gem was through Mystery Science Theater 3000. A film made by an insurance salesman on a bet using borrowed equipment and little technical knowledge of the filmmaking process results in this…masterpiece. Seriously, if you have never seen this movie, you are doing yoursself a disservice. Conventions such as plot, pacing and acting are mere obstacles on the path to cult greatness that this truly abysmal yet amazing film strives to meet.
There is a plot, something to do with vacationers getting lost and waylayed by some cult. Something about The Master, him not being dead (or at least dead as WE know it) and the fact this poor little child proclaims “It’s getting dark” as it’s bright as day outside. It’s just a collection of masterfully awful moments that does capture the imagination.
So there we have it – the five worst reviewed movies of all time, according to Rotten Tomatoes. But I think it’s important to really consider what it means to be bad. Yes, these are all terrible films that are made on shoestring budgets by people with less discernible talent than those who make ‘good’ movies. But something like Movie 43, where you have a collection of actors/actresses across many genres of varying quality (some reaching legendary) you would think that it could even generate something even more passable than a movie that was made on a bet for a budget of $19,000.
They did, it was just 5% percent better.